X - Censorship and Image Culture

Exhibition from April 1st till November 7th 2021

Why was the constitution of the early Belgium so revolutionary? How did artist Jan Bucquoy put Mao in his underpants? How much naked is too naked for Instagram? Will our morals loosen up or become more prudish in 2021? Does time change our own view of what is possible and what is allowed? Is humor always funny? Are censorship and free speech diametrically opposed?

Few topics throughout history have stirred emotions as much as the concept of 'censorship'. Also playing cards and comics have often been the subject of prohibition and protest, even today. With the brand new exhibition X, Censorship and Image Culture, Stripgids (Comic’s Guide) and the Museum of the Playing Card have joined forces for a broad research into this phenomenon.

X confronts and connects. The exhibition brings together diverse (art) works to seek similarities between local stories and worldwide phenomena, between history and current events, between economics and politics, between art and kitsch. How do you deal today with images from the past that no longer fit into a contemporary frame of reference? How have government and religion been trying for centuries to maintain good (?) morals? How do economic interests determine what can and cannot be shown?

X does not provide answers, but questions. It challenges the visitors to explore their own boundaries, but also to reverse roles and put themselves in the perspective of “the other”.

X does not silence, but explicitly makes way for dialogue. Up to three times a group is invited for residency in the exhibition. Each time a cartoonist, a philosopher and an artist take the group along in a creative process of thinking about censorship. The results of those sessions will become part of the exhibition.

With materials from the collection of the Museum of the Playing Card, the Turnhout City Archives and work from a.o. Jan Bucquoy, Charel Cambré, Frommelrommel, Jef Geys, Tom Herck, Kim Lectrr, Bert Lezy, Marvano, Jef Nys, Noortje Palmers & Jasper Declercq, Marc Sleen, Jakob Smits, Liliane Vertessen and many others.

Trustee: Piet Van Hecke – M HKA


Practical information: 

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closed on Monday


  • 5 euros – discount rate: 3 euros – younger than 18 years: free
  • Combi ticket with the Taxandria and the Beguinage Museum: 7.50 euros
  • Holders of the Belgian museum pass: free
  • Price museum pass: 59 euro

We ask you to book your visit in advance, preferably by phone on 014 41 56 21.